Healthy eating. When we eat well, we feel happy and energised, and Justine enjoys creating healthy recipes to help her readers and clients feel that way too. The test kitchen is frequently crammed with delicious food, and finding a balance isn’t always easy, but Justine has tried to nurture some healthy habits which really help.
Whether you’d like to feel better, keep your weight steady or lose a bit of excess, here are some tips to make good, nutritious eating an easy and delicious part of your everyday life:
- Eat when you are comfortably hungry but not ravenous. Eating meals at the right times will prevent you from overeating. Don’t be afraid to feel a little hungry and make sure you eat conciously, enjoying every bite.
- Work out which pattern of meals fits best with your lifestyle – everyone is different. When Justine is trying to drop a few pounds, she tends to eat just 2-3 times during the day. A late breakfast or a small lunch and a light meal in the evening suits her, but if your mornings are frantic or you need to refuel after exercise, you might need a different approach.
- Avoid snacks as recent research has shown that your digestion needs to reboot between meals and you need to give it time to do that efficiently. Also, try and leave at least 12 hours between dinner and breakfast the next day to allow the friendly bacteria to service your gut and get everything running smoothly for the next day.
- Eat more vegetables and fruit. Try to bolster your meals with a variety of veg or make them star of the meal. Aim to at least half fill your dinner plate with a crunchy salad or heaps of freshly-cooked vegetables. They’re packed full with vitamins and fibre and have a good water content, which will help you to feel full. As an added bonus, the more colourful they are, the better the range of nutrients you’re getting. If fruit and veg on their own don’t appeal, build them into a dish. And don’t forget about frozen fruit and vegetables – they’re inexpensive and handy to have on standby.
- Reduce starchy carbs. Keeping pasta, rice, potatoes and bread to a minimum when trying to lose weight because we have found that, combined with eating lots of veg and good protein, this leads to more sustainable weight loss. But more complex carbs, which take longer to digest and release their energy slowly, can be allies. Pulses, wholegrains, brown rice and oats all have added health benefits beyond being pure bulk, and unrefined carbs often have more complex flavours, too.